Personal Christian Fiscal Policy

This past Sunday there was an opportunity to preach about tithing, based particularly on the Old Testament lesson of Deuteronomy 26:1-11.  Coupled with the other readings for the day, I perceived an emphasis on the idea that Christians don’t have anything that we can call our own – meaning that it is mine and God has no right or claim to it.  Everything I have comes from the grace of God.  For that reason, I opted not to preach on tithing because I think that the narrow focus of tithing can sometimes eclipse the more radical message that the readings for the day pointed to.  

In other words, if people feel that what is God’s is really just 10% (or whatever their tithe is), then they’re prone to think of the remaining 90% as their own.  I’m pretty sure that’s exactly opposite to what the purpose of giving to God intends.
I’m guessing that the congregational leaders in many churches wouldn’t mind a few more sermons on tithing.  They know the congregation’s financial situation and rarely is that a situation of having too much money or too generous tithes.  On the other hand, there are undoubtedly more than a few people in each congregation that dread Sermons on the Amount, and are particularly sensitive to a church or pastor that is always pushing people to give more.
But I’m also guessing that both ends of this spectrum would not expect – and perhaps not even welcome – preaching on how God is the ultimate owner of all that we have, and we ought to take practical steps to demonstrate this.  Practical steps like eliminating debt.  This little article is a very potent challenge to the American Christian idea that my personal finances are my own issue, and that, if I’m tithing at least 10%, there isn’t much that God might have to say about my personal financial situation.
I hear a lot of ideas tossed around about how to live a radically Christian life, but very few ideas focusing on mundane issues like personal financial responsibility.  Ideas like working hard, paying your debts, and spending within your means were once part and parcel of Western Christian virtues, but now they’re rarely if ever talked about.  Curious, isn’t it?
Is personal fiscal responsibility a reasonable extrapolation of Biblical teaching?  Are the statements the author of the above-linked article compelling, or is there something he’s getting wrong?  

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